Tonight’s game was destined to be a great one, but did anyone think it would end up like this? Jamal Murray had a historic night, scoring at will on his way to a career high 48 points and leading the Nuggets to a HUGE 115-107 victory. Kyrie Irving put up 31 of his own for Boston, but it was the Jamal Murray show all night long.

Boston came out flying on offense and physical on defense, and just minutes into the game prompted a quick Denver timeout with a 10-2 lead. Post-timeout Jamal Murray got hot, draining back-to-back threes on his way to 14 first quarter points. But, for all of his scoring, Murray had three horrible turnovers that not only led to Celtic points but also killed any momentum Denver had. No one else on the team could buy a bucket and Boston scored at will, taking a 34-19 lead after one.

The second quarter got off to a much better start as the bench had several defensive stops, enabling the Nuggets to climb back into it. From there, the game slowed to a crawl as each team struggled to score. Gary Harris had a nice poster dunk on Gordon Hayward that got the crowd into it a bit. But soon, it became the Kyrie-Murray show. The two point guards traded buckets on multiple possessions as the pace quickened. Denver continued to get stops and Murray finished the half with 23 points, but a late Kyrie three put the Celtics up 56-54 at the break.

Juancho opened the third with a three, quickly answered by none other than Kyrie Irving. Jokic picked up his fourth foul early on but Mason Plumlee held down the fort. Denver briefly took its first lead of the game by three points before the game got bogged down by fouls and hack-a-style free throws. The Nuggets then went small, and a jumpstart effort from Monte Morris and Juancho propelled them into a seven point lead heading into the fourth.

Denver slowly inched ahead in the final frame before Kyrie drilled a corner three and “shhh’d” the crowd to pull Boston back within one. Soon enough, however, it turned into a Jamal Murray takeover. Murray drained two heat check threes and added a couple other baskets, and Denver was off and running with a ten point lead. Boston pushed back, but the Murray attack just never stopped.

Game Notes and Thoughts

  • JAMAL MURRAY JUST SCORED 48 FREAKING POINTS. Murray FINALLY had his early season breakout game, and it wasn’t just a good shooting night – the floodgates opened and drowned all the Boston bandwagoners in Denver. Out of respect for this historic night, we’ll just quietly sweep those God-awful turnovers under the rug.
  • The first quarter was really the first time this season the Nuggets were 100% completely punched in the mouth. How they responded speaks volumes about the resilience of this team. Denver came back from down 18 and not only came back to make it close, but completely took over in the fourth and closed the game like a seasoned team. These Nuggets are FOR REAL.
  • Nikola Jokic continued his trend of trying not to score. At half, the Joker had only taken one shot and finished with just three overall, yet he continues to impact elsewhere. Jokic finished with 8 assists and 10 rebounds . Murray carried the offense tonight but at some point Jokic is going to have to look to score for the entire game.
  • Juancho Hernangomez replaced Torrey Craig after that first timeout three minutes into the game, then took Craig’s spot to start the second half. Craig didn’t see the floor again. Will Juancho be starting from here on out? Juancho only scored eight points, but it was his presence really enabled the team to open up on offense and get going. Something to look for in the future.
  • Quick stats: Denver is now on a 13 game win streak at Pepsi Center. Michael Malone’s coaching record with the Nuggets now sits at exactly .500 with 128 wins and 128 losses. I have reason to believe he’ll be way over .500 from here on out.

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